Illinois Medical Malpractice Laws: An Overview

Medical malpractice laws are designed to hold negligent doctors and hospital liable for the injuries and deaths that they cause. Because medical malpractice laws vary from state to state, it is important to understand the laws of your jurisdiction. This article provides an overview of the medical malpractice laws in Illinois.

Under Illinois medical malpractice laws, a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider can be held liable for medical negligence. It is important to understand that bad behavior alone is not enough to allow a plaintiff to obtain money damages. Similarly, it is not enough for a plaintiff to state that he or she could have received better care from another doctor. Rather, in order to be successful, a plaintiff must prove the following: (1) he or she was owed a legal duty of care; (2) the defendant failed to adhere to that duty of care; and (3) the defendant’s departure from the standard of care caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries or damages.

Illinois Statute of Limitations

In order for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it must also be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. In Illinois, a patient must file a medical malpractice claim within two years of the date the patient knew or should have known of the injury. Under no circumstances, however, can a lawsuit be filed more than four years after the medical negligence occurred.

Illinois does have a special statute of limitations for patients who are minors at the time medical malpractice occurs, however. In these situations, patients under the age of 18 have up to eight years to file a lawsuit, provided that the lawsuit is filed before the patient turns 22.

Damages for Medical Malpractice

If a plaintiff is successful in establishing liability for medical malpractice, he or she may be entitled to recover money damages for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of normal life
  • Pain and suffering

Some states limit the amount of damages that a plaintiff can collect for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and pain and suffering, but currently Illinois does not impose any such damage caps.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you were the victim of medical negligence, it is important to contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The medical malpractice lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. have significant experience representing the clients in and around Chicago who were the victims of medical negligence. Our team of Chicago medical malpractice attorneys collaborates throughout every case and includes former defense lawyers, former in-house counsel at a well-respected teaching hospital, and a former obstetrical nurse, all of whom have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases.

As a result of our knowledge and experience, we have obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of the victims of medical malpractice, including an $11.4 million settlement for a man whose cervical cord was injured when his head fell from the head-holder during surgery, a nearly $10 million verdict for a medical student who suffers from complex regional pain syndrome, and a $7.650 million verdict in a birth injury case in which a baby suffered from cerebral palsy caused by obstetrical negligence.

Contact our office today at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers.